Macra na Feirme president John Keane has said that the carbon budgets released on Monday 25 October are sealing the fate of young farmers without their input.

Macra feels that the carbon budgets will affect every aspect of young farmers lives, both personal and professional, for decades to come.

Macra said that the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) admits in its report that there will be lower agriculture outputs, incomes and a reduction in employment as a result of a reduction in bovine agricultural activity.

Keane commented: “Young farmers, young business people are having their businesses curtailed. Young farmers must be supported in their careers.

“Young farmers must be front and centre in all agriculture carbon budget conversations.

“There are reports of huge numbers of jobs lost in the agriculture sector as a result of the carbon budgets. This could be the downfall of rural Ireland and that should not be forgotten about.”

Intensification of investment

Keane also said that the research developed by Teagasc in relation to the MACC curve charts a pathway forward over the coming years to address the climate challenge.

He said what is required now is an intensification of investment in research and innovation to develop further technologies and practices that will deliver on additional carbon commitments.

“We as young farmers cannot end up in a situation where our competitive advantage in terms of our grass-based system of production is hampered while the rest of the world moves forward in production and innovation,” added Keane.

“A realisation must dawn soon that the world population is due to grow by 20% over the next 30 years, in a time that already has mass starvation across the world.

“Curtailing one of the most sustainable food-producing countries in the world will do nothing to meet the global food demand or the need to reduce global emissions,” said Keane.